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Open call/Vacancy

Documentary Photographer in Residence, Västerbotten

The Residency is arranged by Sune Jonsson Center for Documentary Photography at Västerbottens museum  and is aimed at photographers living in Sweden. The residency is intended to promote documentary film and photography and those who make it, and to encourage contemporary documentation. It also aims to support the exploration and possibilities of documentary photography.

The residency is two months of work, between 1 September and 31 December 2019. The residency should result in the start/completion of a documentary project in Västerbotten. We also encourage the photographer to make public appearances during the process. The museum would also like to include the photographer’s work in its collections at the end of (but not necessarily immediately after) the residency. This will be done in collaboration with the photographer. We will also provide the photographer with an extensive network in the county and within different artistic professions. However, we would like to emphasise that the residency is still based mainly on independent work.

Västerbottens museum is a county museum with a wide range of exhibitions, programmes, publications, archives and collections. The museum is responsible for collecting, preserving and displaying the cultural heritage of Västerbotten through archives, collections, exhibitions programmes, counselling and information. The Sune Jonsson Center for Documentary Photography houses exhibitions of documentary photography and the museum’s photo archive holds the life work of award-winning photographer Sune Jonsson.

The Center arranges seminars and lectures, has a well-stocked library of photo-related literature and provides a meeting place dedicated to documentary imagery where discussions focus on contemporary social issues. We welcome the photographer to actively participate in this context. The residency is arranged in cooperation with Umeå University and the Department of Culture and Media Studies.

The residency includes

  • A stipend to cover the photographer’s working hours and materials.
  • Travel costs for up to four round trips from the photographer’s place of residence.
  • Certain travel costs within Västerbotten County.
  • An office at the museum and access to the resources found in the building.
  • Housing arranged by Västerbottens museum.
  • Supervision by Alexandra A. Ellis, curator and coordinator at the Sune Jonsson Center for Documentary Photography.
  • A contact person who will help the photographer with contacts and other practical matters.
  • Access to the Museum of Västerbotten’s photo archives.
  • Being part of a unique meeting place for documentary photography in Sweden.
  • The offer to include the photographer’s work in the museum’s collections at the end of the residency.


  • The photographer must be living in Sweden.
  • The photographer has their own camera equipment and computer.
  • The photographer must stay in Västerbotten for the two month residency.
  • The photographer is encouraged to present themselves and their work to the public during the stay, and to be involved in the context of the museum.
  • The residency is based on a project idea presented by the photographer in their application.

Send your CV, portfolio (max 10 Mb), references, project idea and a letter where you discuss your photography to residence@vbm.se and include reference number 48/20. Individuals as well as groups may apply, but please note that the stipend is a one-time sum that will be split between the members of the group. We accept applications in Swedish and English.

The jury
The jury, consisting of persons with broad expertise and backgrounds in the subject field along with a representative of the Museum of Västerbotten, will select a candidate among the applications. The jury will announce its decision within two weeks of the deadline.

The jury consists of:

  • Jens Olof Lasthein, photographer
  • Anusha Andersson, film maker
  • Klara Källström, photographer
  • Sofia Breimo, etnologist at Västerbottens museum
  • Ola Nordebo, political editor-in-chief at Västerbottens-Kuriren


  • Open to applications as of 2 March
  • Deadline 5 April
  • The jury announces its decision no later than 26 April
  • The residency is for two months, between 1 September and 31 December 2020

Contact and information

Alexandra A. Ellis

Curator, documentary photography
+4690-16 39 38
+4673-926 26 85

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